Bay Area Urology
50 So. San Mateo Drive #120
San Mateo, Ca 94401
tel: 650-348-7770 fax: 650-348-0166

  Urological Endoscopy - Introduction

Whenever the history of medicine in American urology is discussed, endoscopy is a very important subject. The development of endoscopy in America began in the late nineteenth century with acquisition of European techniques and instruments from Vienna and Berlin, mostly with instruments developed by Max Nitze. The growth of urological instrumentation started in the early twentieth century with realization of the ideas of American urologists assisted by prominent, skilled makers of endoscopic and electrosurgical instruments such as Reinhold Wappler, a German immigrant who founded American Cystoscope Makers, Inc. (ACMI) in 1908. From the work of these important men and their successors, urology was the first surgical specialty to see the benefit of using minimally invasive equipment to diagnose and treat diseases.

The earliest applications of endoscopic surgery were directed toward diseases of the
lower urinary tract - the bladder, prostate and urethra. By the beginning of the 1900's, urologists were capable of diagnosing and treating small stones and tumors in the bladder. Endoscopic surgical treatment of prostate enlargement became a reality by the early 1930's when the "resectoscope" was invented by Stern and McCarthy, allowing surgery to be done by passing these instruments through the natural openings and pathways of the body such as the urethra for prostate surgery.

In today's practice, endoscopic and laparoscopic approaches are now standard for treating diseases of the
upper urinary tract - the kidneys, ureters and adrenal glands. Most urinary stones, regardless of size and location, are now accessible by endoscopic means. Most tumors of the kidneys and adrenal glands are now being removed by laparoscopic methods. These minimally invasive surgeries are part of an effort to refine surgical technique and anesthesia to reduce the morbidity of surgery. By planning no incision or smaller incisions, and using endoscopes and laparoscopes for magnification, we can achieve our surgical goals with less pain and discomfort for our patients, which can have great impact on the healing process and recovery, and shorten their return time to work and regular activities.

At Bay Area Urology, we consider it our responsibility to continue to bring current and future advances into our urological practice. The field of urologic surgery is seeing a healthy synergism at work, as technological advances are expanding the capabilities of surgeons to streamline open procedures. In the San Mateo County Area (Peninsula Medical Center, Sequoia Hospital, and San Mateo Medical Center), we were the
first group of surgeons to perform laparoscopic kidney removal (nephrectomy) for both benign and malignant diseases. We anticipate future expansion of our abilities to treat most if not all urological conditions, including prostate cancer, using minimally invasive means.

For more information on related topics of endoscopy and laparoscopy, please refer to the specific sections of our web site.

*  This information is not intended to substitute for a consultation with a urologist. It is offered to educate patients on the basis of urological conditions in order to get the most out of their office visits and consultations. Please see our web page disclaimer for addition information.


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